Working on the Bog. Ian Paisley Saving Turf in Tyrone

In this interview with Gay Byrne he related how before he embraced the religious life he contemplated going to Agricultural College. To get an idea of what might be involved he stayed with relations of his father in Tyrone. While there they had him out on the bog saving turf.


About 6 minutes into interview




Ian Paisley, an Irishman in Barry Island, South Wales, August 1942.

In Sean Dunne’s book ‘An Irish Anthology’,  Gill and Macmillan, Dublin 1999, there is an excerpt from Ian Paisley’s book ‘What think Ye of Christ’, 1976.

This chapter is ‘Open Air Preaching’ and he describes his period of apprenticeship with Teddy Sherwood who, prior to being a preacher was once the champion welterweight boxing champion of Southern England.  Ian Paisley was asked by him one evening to get into the ring and preach, he was only a lad of 16 and with a bible in hand as best he could he followed the great open air preacher.  Soon he was heckled, and the crowd cried  ‘Answer her question’.  I stopped and I said, ‘What is your question?  She said ‘How do you know there is a Jesus Christ’?  How do you know there is a Jesus Christ?  And Oh, a great shout of derision went up from the ungodly in that crowd.

Here was I, a mere stripling with little experience, faced with a hostile crowd.  I sent a prayer to Heaven.  I said, ‘Lord, give me an answer. Turn this weapon as a boomerang in the face of the devil’.  God gave me the answer.  I said  ‘Young woman, I come from Ireland, and an Irishman always answers a question by asking another. 

Another politician familiar with bogs was Michael Pat Murphy, Labour TD for West Cork. He made his name during the Emergency organise a strike among bog workers at Lognacapall Bog in Caheragh against poor working conditions.\


It is likely that some Irish Protestants from the northern counties with Scots descent in turn descended from Niall of the NIne Hostages. Some of his descendants the Northern Uí Neill migrated from Ulster the Western Scotland around the 8th century.


The Wildest and Richest Gardens” – West Cork Bog Soak

Pre 1965 farming practices West Cork, Red Elephant and Epicure potatoes, working with the grufán, threshing with the steam engine, winnowng of wheat and oats, working in the bog.

Ancient butter making, Líam English 18th century poet, Miosgan of butter, Bog Butter, 18th century Christian and Pagan incantation on butter making

Discovery of Bronze Palstave, c 1.400 BC, Dunbeacon Bog, Durrus, West Cork.

Covenants in 18th and 19th century Leases re Bogs, Turf, Bog wood as an indicator of Landscapes 2,000 years ago the Bog Commissioners and Proposals to Drain and Grown Flax an Hemp 1805 on.